Great Depression Quotes

Quotes tagged as "great-depression" Showing 1-30 of 48
“When I was young
I wanted to be just like him.
One of the charm, of a bright orange smile
and muscular laughter.
Bold brown eyes flashing fearless
when he sat not alone
on cold blue nights
in empty boxcars.

Riding a freight train's
solitary wail
away from Nebraska
Depression, accompanying dreams
withered farms.
Nothing left but the
leaves of possibilities.”
Larsen Bowker

John Steinbeck
“First the strangers came with argument and authority and gunpowder to back up both. And in the four hundred years Kino's people had learned only one defense - a slight slitting of the eyes and a slight tightening of the lips and a retirement. Nothing could break down this wall, and they could remain whole within the wall.”
John Steinbeck, The Pearl

Clara Cannucciari
“People don't realize how easy they have it these days. Most kids have never known what it's like to go without anything. They want something, they get it. If there isn't enough money, they charge it. We never wanted anything because we never realized we could have anything. We never missed what we never had. Things were much simpler back then, and we were stronger for it. We worked together to keep the house in order, to put food on the table. We kept things going.”
Clara Cannucciari, Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression

Barbara Post-Askin
“Only if we understand our past, can we move forward to a brighter future.”
Barbara Post-Askin, Reflections of Liberty: Memoir by Barbara Post-Askin

Amity Shlaes
“The big question about the American depression is not whether war with Germany and Japan ended it. It is why the Depression lasted until that war. From 1929 to 1940, from Hoover to Roosevelt, government intervention helped to make the Depression Great.”
Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

“On summer nights when the windows are open, you can listen in on people's lives—babies crying, kids laughing, radios blaring, mothers yelling, couples fighting. Funny thing is, the sounds are always the same. Even though different people come and go, the sounds stay the same. I like that. It makes me feel a part of something big, something never ending, like the stars.”
Jackie French Koller, Nothing to Fear

“In the spring of 1931, West African natives in the Cameroons sent New York $3.77 for relief for the "starving"; that fall Amtorgs's new York office received 100,000 applications for job in Soviet Russia. On a single weekend in April, 1932, the 'Ile de france' and other transatlantic liner carried nearly 4,000 workingmen back to Europe; in June, 500 Rhode Island aliens departed for Mediterranean ports.”
William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940

Chuck Palahniuk
“We don’t have a great war in our generation, or great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.”
“We have to show these men and women freedom by enslaving them, and show them courage by frightening them.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“Marsha: I miss Mother and Daddy so much...sometimes worse than others. My mind goes back to when Jeannie and I were children. It was during the Great Depression. We lived on the farm. Every night---we sat down by the light from a kerosene lamp---we sang hymns, Mother and Daddy took turns reading the Bible---and then each one of us said prayers.

Daddy didn't like rice at all....But during the Depression.....that's what we had.....and Daddy learned to eat rice---AND HE LEARNED TO LOVE IT. Then, for the next almost 50 years that he lived.....he wanted to eat rice almost every day!

It's 'funny' how things work out......”
Carolyn Bass Watson Dickens, Mother of Marsha Carol Watson Gandy

“I looked over at the empty, black windows of the Whites' apartment, windows that were warm and yellow just yesterday, and I shivered.”
Jackie French Koller, Nothing to Fear

Stewart Stafford
“Experts say that the movie King Kong (1933) released the pent-up rage of the Great Depression. Well, COVID-19 Halloween displays could do the same for our feelings about the 2020 lockdown.”
Stewart Stafford

“In Chicago [during the Great Depression], a crowd of some fifty hungry men fought over barrel of garbage set outside the back door of restaurant”
William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940

“To fit the individual to live and to function in the institutional life of his day.”
Max Braithwaite, Why Shoot The Teacher

C.G. Faulkner
“Ethan got some books out of an old trunk. They were history books, some passed down from his great-grandfather Tom through his grandfather Jeb and father Andrew. Ethan expected that he’d pass them on to his own child, one day. History and family trees had always been very important to the Fortner family.”
C.G. Faulkner, The Adventures of the Home For Supper Kids

Horace McCoy
“Let’s go sit and hate a bunch of people.”
Horace McCoy, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

“The world was a miserable, wretched place to be in the 1930’s. It was a time when death lurked around every street corner — death which could be as slow as starvation or as quick as a whistling machinegun bullet. . . . [It was a time when] everyone and everything — including immediate future — was in doubt. . . . While a handful of men were getting rich . . . the average citizen was being whittled shorter and shorter with every skimpy meal.”
Billie Jean Parker Moon

“The world was a miserable, wretched place to be in the 1930’s. It was a time when death lurked around every street corner — death which could be as slow as starvation or as quick as a whistling machinegun bullet. . . . [It was a time when] everyone and everything — including immediate future — was in doubt. . . . While a handful of men were getting rich . . . the average citizen was being whittled shorter and shorter with every skimpy meal.'
— Billie Jean Parker Moon, 1975”
Floyd Hamilton, Bonnie & Clyde and Me!: The Floyd Hamilton Story, Public Enemy #1, 1938...in His Own Words!

“The world was a miserable, wretched place to be in the 1930’s. It was a time when death lurked around every street corner — death which could be as slow as starvation or as quick as a whistling machinegun bullet. . . . [It was a time when] everyone and everything — including immediate future — was in doubt. . . . While a handful of men were getting rich . . . the average citizen was being whittled shorter and shorter with every skimpy meal.'
— Billie Jean Parker Moon (Bonnie Parker's sister), 1975”
Floyd Hamilton, Bonnie and Clyde and Me

“There were occasional dances at the main prison compound with live bands as well as holiday dinners, activities that Blanche greatly enjoyed. In her scrapbooks, she placed an autographed promotional photograph of one visiting band, The Rural Ramblers. ...
Blanche loved to dance and by all accounts she was very good at it. She applied to a correspondence course in dancing that came complete with diagrams of select dance steps to place on the floor and practice. She also cut similar dance instructions and diagrams from newspapers and magazines and put them in her scrapbooks. By 1937, she had mastered popular dances like jitterbug, rumba, samba, and tango.
The men’s prison, or “the big prison” as the women called it, hosted movies on Friday nights. Features like Roll Along Cowboy ... were standard, usually accompanied by some short musical feature such as Who’s Who and a newsreel. The admission was five cents. Blanche attended many of these movies. She loved movies all of her life.
Blanche Barrow’s periodic visits to the main prison allowed her to fraternize with males. She apparently had a brief encounter with “the boy in the warden’s office” in the fall of 1934. There are few details, but their relationship was evidently ended abruptly by prison officials in December.
There were other suitors, some from Blanche Barrow’s past, and some late arrivals...”
John Neal Phillips, My Life with Bonnie and Clyde

“It was the influence of the Great Depression, recycling, thriftiness, stocking up to the point of hoarding for fear of being without. ... She [Rhea Leen] remembered coming home from school before Jean [Billie Jean Parker] got off work to a cold, empty house, and finding only one can of soup in the cupboard, heating the soup and eating only half of it, saving the rest for he aunt. Rather remembered ... when her father took a job as a janitor because his savings had been wiped out in the crash of 1929 and there were no other jobs. He always distrusted banks thereafter, refusing to do business with them, preferring to bury his money in the yard. He was not alone.”
John Neal Phillips, My Life with Bonnie and Clyde

“[At Eastham, probably after sexual abuse]: In Barrow's own words to Fults, 'I'd like to shoot all these damned guards and turn everybody loose.' Fults, initially unimpressed by the diminutive Barrow, later noted the change he witnessed. 'I seen him change from a schoolboy to a rattlesnake. He got real bitter.' ... This is echoed by members of the Barrow family who noted a distinct difference in Barrow's personality after his 1932 parole. According to his sister Marie, 'Something awful sure must have happened to him in prison, because he wasn't the same person when he got out.”
John Neal Phillips, My Life with Bonnie and Clyde

“[W.D.] Jones later commented that people frequently helped them, 'Not because it was Bonnie and Clyde. People in them days just helped—no questions asked.”
John Neal Phillips, My Life with Bonnie and Clyde

“This is just a short path we walkin'. The long road, the good road, lies ahead. And when we get there, you can count on one thing. Folks like Miss Emily that has spent this life lookin' down is sure 'nough gonna spend all eternity lookin' up.”
Jackie French Koller, Nothing to Fear

“Funny thing is, the sounds are always the same. Even though different people come and go, the sounds stay the same.”
Jackie French Koller, Nothing to Fear

Nancy Rubin Stuart
“Above all, wealth was no longer to be flaunted. While an ostentatious displays of money might have been de rigueur in the Golden Twenties, it was decidedly out of fashion in the desperate days of the Destitute Thirties.

The splashy parties the socialite once gave and attended in the twenties in New York and Palm Beach now dwindled to a trickle and were replaced with charity teas, and fund raisers.”
Nancy Rubin Stuart, American Empress: The Life and Times of Marjorie Merriweather Post

“Fear is historically the strongest emotion in economics. Remember FDR in the Great Depression? It's the most famous quote in financial history: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." In fact fear is probably the strongest human emotion, period. Who ever woke up at four in the morning because they were feeling half?”
Robert Harris

Sijdah Hussain
“Depression, a lot like the Great Depression of the ’20s-’30s, has people swirling for quite a time in their own created labyrinths.”
Sijdah Hussain, Red Sugar, No More

Diana Stevan
“Outside, the sweet smell of freshly cut alfalfa hay was a welcome change from the odours of sweat and cheap cologne on the dance floor.”
Diana Stevan, Lilacs in the Dust Bowl

Diana Stevan
“It blew with a rustling noise, as if all the demons had sprung from hell and decided to release a raspy long sigh together.”
Diana Stevan, Lilacs in the Dust Bowl

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